Elly Awards: Women helping women further their education

MIDTOWN — The Woman's Forum of New York has been making dreams come true for decades.

Their philanthropic mission? Helping women get their college degrees after the age of 35.

We're taking you inside the Elly Awards, where nearly 20 women are walking away with life-changing grants.

The ballroom at the Plaza Hotel was filled with women making a difference in their communities and careers for the 9th annual Elly Awards luncheon.

Honored today, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Muriel Fox, both at the forefront of civil rights for women. Their efforts laid the path for almost 50 years of achievement by women.

Both Fox and Congresswomen Norton are founding members of the Women's Forum of New York.

The president of the Forum, Linda Willett says their mission has never changed.  “We are women supporting each other, women inspiring each other, and women helping each other.”

As the former chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Congresswomen Norton is striving to make changes from education costs to equalizing pay.

While this event honors changemakers, it also raises money for the Women's Forum of New York's Education Fund which gives grants to women over 35 who have had obstacles in their lives and haven't been able to finish their education.

The hope for this year's recipients? Finish their education, help their community, benefit their families and just do wonderful work in the world.

Valorie Wilkinson plans to do just that. Formerly homeless, she's been awarded a $10,000 grant, which will help her attend Lehman College in the fall.

The education fund has transformed lives helping over 260 women.

The women are each given $10,000 to use however they like. They can pay for their housing, for bills or for school.

For more information on Women's Forum of New York, click here. 

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